Winners of the 59th Tenor Viñas Contest
The British soprano Gemma Summerfield, age 31, has won the First Prize at the 59th edition of the Tenor Viñas International Singing Contest. Summerfield graduated in 2016 from the Royal College of Music International Opera Studio and has continued to work in close collaboration with British singer Rosa Mannion. Among the notable roles she has played are Mimì (La bohème, Northern Ireland Opera), Nanetta (Falstaff, Scottish Opera), Pamina (The Magic Flute, Glyndebourne & Scottish Opera), Paula Jordan (Dinner at Eight, Wexford Festival Opera) Rodelinda (Rodelinda, cover, English National Opera) Michal (Saul, cover, Glyndebourne Festival Opera), Gretel (Hänsel und Gretel) Rosalinde (Die Fledermaus), Ginevra (Ariodante) and Donna Elvira (Don Giovanni). Three years ago, the British soprano received the First Prize at the Concorso Lirico Internazionale de Portofino.
The Second Prize went to the French mezzo-soprano Eugénie Joneau, 26 years old. The South Korean tenor Seok Jong Baek, 35 years old, won the Third Prize. The official awards have been completed with the Russian bass Aleksei Kulagin (Fourth Prize), the U.S. baritone Blake Denson (Fifth Prize) and the Italian tenor Paride Cataldo (Sixth Prize).
All of them were among the 16 performers from 8 countries who performed in the final round of the competition, which took place this Friday at the Gran Teatre del Liceu. Once the performances were over, the jury made the deliberation and announced the winners in a verdict that was broadcasted online. To complete the evening, the Spanish mezzo-soprano Carmen Artaza, winner of the past edition, gave a recital on the same stage.
The international jury was presided by the Liceu’s Artistic Director, Víctor Garcia de Gomar, and also integrated by: Julien Benhamou, artistic consultant and Casting Director of the Festival d'Aix-en-Provence; Alessandro Galoppini, Casting Director of the Teatro alla Scala in Milan; Tobias Hasan, Director of the Staatsoper Unter der Linden in Berlin; Paul Hopper, assistant to the Artistic Administrator of the Metropolitan Opera House in New York; Peter Mario Katona, Director of Casting at the Royal Opera House Covent Garden in London; Simon Lepper, pianist; Joan Matabosch, Artistic Director of the Teatro Real in Madrid; Nelly Miricioiu, soprano (who won the Competition in 1975); Christian Schirm, Artistic Director of the Académie de l'Opéra de Paris; and Ludmila Talikova, Director of the Opera Company of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia in Moscow.
Winners of the 58th Tenor Viñas Contest
The Spanish mezzosoprano Carmen Artaza, 25, is the Grand Prize winner of the 58th Tenor Viñas International Singing Competition. She has becoming the seventh Spanish contestant to win the First Prize of the Viñas Tenor Competition, the last was the soprano Beatriz Díaz González to 2007. Artaza has received also the Mozart Prize and the Best Spanish Singer Prize.
The Second Prize had been awarded to Olga Syniakova, and the Argentinian baritone Germán Enrique Alcántara has received the Third Prize. The other official awards have been given to the Russian baritone Vasily Sokolov (Fourth Prize), the Chinese tenor Chuan Wang (Fifth Prize), and the Russian soprano Inna Demenkova (Sixth Prize).
18 singers from a total of 477 from 55 countries took part in this year's Tenor Viñas Final Audition.
This year the international jury of the Tenor Viñas Competition has been presided by the Artistic Director of the Gran Teatre del Liceu, Víctor García de Gomar. The other members of the jury have been Damià Carbonell (Head of Artistic Affairs at the Deutsch National Opera), Alessandro Di Gloria (Head of Casting and Artistic Planning Director for Opera and Concerts at Teatro Massimo of Palermo), Alessandro Gallopini (Casting Manager at Teatro alla Scala of Milan), Sonia Ganassi (Mezzo Soprano), Tobias Hasan (Director of the Staatsoper of Berlin), Joan Matabosch (Artistic Director of the Teatro Real of Madrid), Elena Pankratova, (Soprano), Christian Schirm (Artistic Director of the Académie of the Opéra National of Paris), Christoph Seuferle (Director of Opera of the Deutsche Oper Berlin) and Ludmila Talikova (Head of the Opera Company of the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia in Moscow).
In this edition up to 115,000 euros has been allocated in prizes: 77,000 euros in 6 Official Prizes; 20,000 euros in 4 Special Prizes (this prize category also includes 2 contracts); 23,000 euros in 4 Extraordinary Prizes, (this prize category also includes 9 contracts and 15 study grants). All awards are given with the intention of promoting the operatic career of young talented and capable singers.